October 15, 2018 6:10 pm
Updated: October 15, 2018 6:39 pm

Pierrefonds flood victim sleeping in camper on yard since May

WATCH: A Pierrefonds man is still waiting for the Quebec government's help nearly 18 months after spring flooding damaged his home. As Global's Billy Shields reports, André Lavigne says he hopes the province lets him rebuild his home -- even though it's located on a flood plain.

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André Lavigne remembered what it was like when the water levels near his Gouin Boulevard home started rising.

He never thought he would have to leave the house he’s been living in for the past 32 years. Now he’s been waiting for 18 months to know whether he can rebuild and has been sleeping in a camper since May.

“I try everybody and basically nothing happens,” he said.

“They all say the same thing: ‘We’re not in charge.'”

Lavigne is hoping to demolish his home, then fill in a bit more than 30 centimetres of earth and rebuild his house on top. But he still needs permission from the province.

READ MORE: Pierrefonds-Roxboro flood victims suing the city

“I’m only missing 14 inches of dirt to be completely legal,” he said.

The Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro wrote a letter on his behalf to the province to encourage officials to allow him to demolish and rebuild, but so far even the borough hasn’t heard back.

Mayor Jim Beis said the borough found exceptional circumstances justifying Lavigne’s plan, and wrote the province saying as much.

“We have yet to hear an answer,” he said.

The Ministère du sécurité publique wrote Global News to say that most of the roughly 6,000 claimants have received some form of compensation, but that the flood zone decisions are handled by two other ministries.

Meanwhile, Lavigne said he’s not willing to spend winter in the camper — he’ll sleep in his damaged home as long as he’s able.

READ MORE: One year later, Pierrefonds residents ‘still in same place,’ waiting on compensation

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